There is a lot of interest in blockchain. In fact, Deloitte recently surveyed over 1300 Senior Executives around the world and found that 53% see blockchain as a “critical priority” for their organizations. That’s more than half of all Senior Executives describing this as “critical”.
Yet women are drastically underrepresented in this new area. Women in power positions even more so.
Despite earning more than half of all bachelor’s degrees, women only account for 18% of those awarded in computer sciences. And as the head of a company that wants to make blockchain applications accessible for everyone, I have found out first-hand what barriers need to be overcome and what challenges women need to rise to if they want to succeed in the world of blockchain.
Young women and those still in education should take a serious interest in the study of blockchain. And for women who are already pursuing successful careers, it’s important not to ignore the potential of this emergent technology.
Who knows what opportunities may lie ahead and how many of them could be unlocked by acquiring knowledge and relevant skills related to blockchain.
New Opportunities for Women in Tech
Blockchain is yet to experience its boom, but its potential is undeniable and, I believe, unstoppable. It is a fundamentally transformative technology that will change how we conduct any exchange of value with each other.
Young girls with an interest in code and women in tech find themselves in a position that has never lent itself so kindly to a global mindset shift. Women really do have the chance to create the kind of future they want to see.
And when it comes to the programming languages behind blockchain applications, there are a few that could prove to be invaluable.
LLL stands for Low-Level Lisp-Like Language. So, I suppose you could argue that it’s actually LLLLL?
Less catchy, though, perhaps.
Regardless of what you make of the acronym, LLL is another popular language that allows programmers to access the lower levels of the Ethereum Virtual Machine. What this means in basic terms is that it unlocks extra memory locations and power that would otherwise not be available.
Contracts can be made smaller in size compared to those created in high-level languages, but writing them is a much more technical process due to the nature of the language.
Room at the Round Table
Right now, women have the opportunity to earn our seats at the table. If we want to have a significant voice in how the future is shaped, how this new tool is used, I would even go as far as saying that we have an obligation to ourselves and each other to do so.
For those not technically minded, there is plenty of room for research and contribution on the regulatory side. Much like the early days of the internet, we have a new tool in our hands. One that has the potential to promote freedom, rebuild trust and foster a new wave of competitive innovation. Or, it could be used to underpin and consolidate existing power structures.
A lot depends on the intentions of those who wield this new tool. And what they are allowed to do with it by those who write the rules. Just as the internet now has regulatory bodies and organizations to protect individual and consumer rights, a similar structure will need to be established for blockchains if and when they are to become a common feature of the world’s marketplace.
These could be on a local, regional, national or international level. But no matter at which level you choose to contribute, it’s vital that clarity is provided so that blockchain developers and blockchain companies know what’s legal and what’s not.
The Rise of New Role Models
For women in business today, and those who want to make a difference tomorrow, blockchain technology has a lot of potentials. We need to make sure that does not go to waste. One way to do that is for today’s female leaders and senior executives to position themselves as advocates and early adopters, with a view to becoming subject matter experts and role models.
Achieving this does not require a background in code. An open mind and a desire to learn is all you need to get started. My personal path to getting involved with blockchain branched off from a completely unrelated background.
I had studied economics at college and was working in PR when I was offered the chance to join Aurachain. Needless to say, it was a steep learning curve once I joined as the first employee of such a visionary company back in the early 2000s.
I took on various roles in areas such as functional analysis, project management, customer delivery management and business development. And all of this combined experience, from my college studies and career in PR through to the different responsibilities I was given at Aurachain; it all added up and taught me how to successfully operate and run a software company.
Now, I’m able to draw from my experience to challenge, guide and inspire the wonderful group of people that we have working behind the scenes on the world’s best low code development platform for blockchain applications.
A Blockchain Business Is Still a Business
A final factor that we must remember is that, even with the potential that blockchain offers women, it is still business. And business is hard. My journey to becoming a CEO was not easy. And the company I run was built upon a lot of pain and suffering. As you can imagine, growing a small business in Eastern Europe into an International company brought with it more challenges than I could ever be ready for.
But you have to meet those challenges head-on because they won’t stop coming. You make sacrifices. You persevere. And when tough decisions are required, you have to step up.
Earlier this year I made an exceptionally difficult decision that involved letting people go. I worked with some of them for more than 10 years. But I understood that I had a bigger responsibility to the company, and the wider team than I had to them.
You have to learn to put the company first like this, at times when you have conflicting feelings about the right course to take. So, to any young women with ambitions of running their own company now or in the future, I would say:
- Always choose courage over comfort
- There is no magic formula for anything, only passion and a lot of hard work
- You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but also about how you survive
- Never take anything or anyone for granted
- Get ready to kiss your personal life goodbye
Above anything else, remember your key advantage:
Nobody else in the world has your unique perspective.
And with the blockchain revolution yet to take place, your perspective could be exactly what the world needs.
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